Since floppy disks have become obsolete, most of us nowadays are using Flash Drives or USB drives to save files. Not only are they handy but are also capable of storing huge amount of files. However, there are times that when you plug in your Flash drive or USB drive, Windows cannot read or detect it. Here are just some troubleshooting suggestions.
- The first thing you need to do is go to control panel->system->Hardware->device manager tab. Scroll down to the Universal Serial Bus controllers and check if your flash disk is recognized. Your Flash disk is recognized if the USB Mass Storage Device or the brand name of your flash disk appears when you collapse the arrow beside Universal Serial Bus controllers.
- If there’s a Question mark beside the USB Mass storage device, this means that your flash disk needs a driver or you haven’t installed the USB drivers of your mother board. Google for the compatible drivers of your USB device and install.
- If an X appears beside the USB Mass Storage device / brand name, it means that your device is disabled. Right click the USB Mass Storage device / brand name and select properties. Click the drop down menu on Device usage and select enable or “use this device”.
- If there’s an exclamation beside the USB Mass Storage device, this means that Windows had trouble installing the flash disk because it is damaged. Right click on the properties and check the device status to check the problem. Alternatively, go to the details tab and check the device instance ID and hardware IDs. You will usually see a series of numbers and letters but if you just see all zero numbers, your flash disk is definitely defective and you should return it to the store you bought it from.
- If everything seems to be working but you just can’t see the drive path on My Computer, check and see if other drives are using the drive letter F, G, etc. If this is the case then go to Control panel->administrative tools->Computer management. Collapse “storage” and select “Disk Management”. On the right side of the screen, search for the removable disk. Right click on the removable disk button and select “change drive letter and paths”. Press the change button and assign a drive letter which is not in use. Again, check the My Computer for the drive letters which are in use by your PC. Press okay until you return to the computer management screen.
So that’s it. That’s just my basic troubleshooting tips when your flash disk drive / USB drive is not recognized by Windows. Hope this helps.